You might mistake it for a giant mailbox, but take a closer look, and you could discover your own tiny library. If you've never heard of them, Little Free Libraries function as (you'll never guess) delightful little libraries for the community.
It all started when, in the late 2000s, Todd Bol built a model schoolhouse as a tribute to his book-loving mother and stocked it with reading material. He set it out in his yard with a sign reading "FREE BOOKS," and thus, Little Free Library was born. These mini reading oases have started popping up around the country— there are now over 15,000 worldwide. After registering, new library owners can build or buy their own library (usually about the size of a dollhouse), set it outside their home and start stocking their collection in whatever way they please. The libraries work on the honor system: take a book, leave a book.
Everytime I pass a Little Free Library, I'm thrilled. I stop to check out the offerings and admire the lovely craftsmenship of each book's tiny home. And now, as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Riverhead Books, the publishing company has announced that they will be launching three Riverhead Little Free Libraries designed by the award-winning artist Helen Yentus and stocked with various Riverhead titles. While two libraries have already been placed, the third is still up for grabs! Three Riverhead authors—Emma Straub, Junot Díaz and Dan Pink—will be selecting the finalist, and the public will choose the winner of the final library. Would you like an adorably small library in your community? Check out how to enter the contest here!